Toasting hazelnuts is the perfect way to intensify and enhance their natural flavor.
Start with shelled hazelnuts. Pick through them to remove any damaged nuts.
Lay the nuts on a baking sheet in a single layer.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for between 10 to 20 minutes.
The papery skins will start to split. Some may be more stubborn and require a little extra time. Shake the pan to turn the nuts over for even toasting.
Place the toasted nuts on a clean dishtowel. Fold the dishtowel over (or use another one on the top) and rub the nuts vigorously. The skins will loosen and fall off. As the nuts cool, stubborn skins can be removed by placing nuts in your hands and rubbing your palms together vigorously.
Keep toasted nuts in the freezer if not using immediately to ensure the nuts do not become rancid.
Recipes (from this blog) using hazelnuts: